• Woman released after shampoo, lotion falsely test positive as cocaine


    BOSTON (MyFoxBoston.com) – A woman who was accused of smuggling cocaine and held for more than a month in jail has been released.

    Johanna Carolina Ortiz, 38, was arrested at Logan International Airport following a flight from the Dominican Republic in February. Officials said she had 24 pounds of liquid cocaine stored in small cosmetic containers.

    On Wednesday, Suffolk County released Ortiz after they said subsequent tests of the substance at the state drug lab in Sudbury returned negative results for cocaine.

    Because her bail was set so high, Ortiz was not able to post it and spent a month in jail. Ortiz's lawyer claims she is innocent and was falsely imprisoned.

    "She was coming into this country to return to her family. Instead, she spent 37 days in jail," said Veronica White, Ortiz's attorney.

    All charges have been dropped against Ortiz.

    The Suffolk County DA's office said the liquid mixture was tested using a method usually used to detect powder cocaine. They plan to retest the bottles using a different method recommended by the DEA.

    If the new tests return as positive, Ortiz could be indicted in superior court. The tests, however, will be delayed due to a backlog from the Hinton drug lab scandal.

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